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Push to move from IEP to 504



Hi all.  My now 7th grade son has had an IEP for last 5 years. He has ADHD and elementary school was a mess! Early on he had both academic and social emotional goals. The transition to middle school actually went waaay better than I expected. Because of a scheduling error on the school's part he ended up in the regular classes not clustered with other iep students.  Academically he has been keeping up and actually doing well in many classes. His original triennial was supposed to be at the end of next year right before the transition to high school.  At the end of 6th the iep team seemed to signal they thought he didn't need support anymore but I got them to agree to see how 7th went.  He has also had emotionally related mental health support each year (met biweekly with school psychologist) to work on S/E development. Well by the end of fall semester he had been suspended 2x for behavioral stuff with peers during unstructured time and had lunch detention too.  We met with principal and I expressed concerns he maybe needed more support and they agree and we had an emergency meeting. They said the best route would be to advance his reevaluation a year to see the big picture and what he needs. Well, we met last week and they all say he is doing so great they think we should switch to a 504! He qualifies with a disability but they think it does not "affect him accessing the general curriculum" as he is already in the general classes. I went into the meeting with draft goal ideas to help support him with social development evidenced by the suspensions. As I understand it, social emotional falls under functional performance and I have seen many S/E goal ideas online and know good grades alone are not a reason to exit him (they were careful not to say that).  I am happy that all the evaluations showed he is doing well in most areas, but they did even when he first qualified. What I want is assurance they will pull him regularly to meet with someone. They say they will write meeting with the school counselor support into the 504.  I do have a good relationship with the team, but at the same time the team can change so it worries me to lose the iep safe guards as I think hormones and 8th grade may be more challenging. Can someone have an iep that only has functional performance (behavioral) goals? Sorry so long!  I have not signed the exit paperwork yet. 

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Lisa has a post on when an IEP should be ended at https://adayinourshoes.com/stop-end-the-iep/. Did they evaluate ALL areas of concern (including social emotional and behavioral skills)? Do you agree with their evaluation(s)? What does their data say compared to private data/evals? If you don't agree with the district's evaluations, one option is to request an IEE for each area in which you disagree with the district. See https://adayinourshoes.com/iee-independent-education-evaluation/ for info on IEEs. 

With there being fewer protections for children on 504s and it seems your district wants your child on a 504 rather than an IEP, I'm wondering if the district completed an FBA each time he was suspended? Does your child have a BIP? If you haven't already, review https://adayinourshoes.com/manifestation-determination-hearing/ as Lisa recommends requesting a manifestation hearing after each suspension. Has your child been in trouble this semester? 

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